Off the Shelf: The value of a library card

September is Library Card Sign-Up month, a time when libraries remind community members that a library card can be the most valuable card in your wallet or your child’s backpack. Library cards are free and offer access to books and many other resources that might surprise you.

Telescopes, pickle ball sets, birding kits, DVDs and downloadable audiobooks are all available for checkout at the North Olympic Library System (NOLS) — free with your library card.

Online access to Consumer Reports is available to library card holders, along with access to build business, technology-related and creative skills on LinkedIn Learning; all available through The Libby app allows library card holders to download eBooks and eAudiobooks.

Brainfuse HelpNow is an online tutoring service for all learning levels — kindergartners through adults — also available at HelpNow provides one-on-one online homework help, writing assistance, access to practice tests for SAT and ACT, and more.

Sequim Library manager Emily Sly. Photo courtesy of North Olympic Library System

Sequim Library manager Emily Sly. Photo courtesy of North Olympic Library System

Learning a new language is great at any age and you can check out a language learning program on audio CD or downloadable audio. The “Listen Repeat Speak” language learning course available through offers dozens of languages to explore, including Spanish, Japanese, Hebrew, Urdu, Swedish, Hindi and more.

The library also offers access to technology. Public computers are available anytime during library open hours, with $2.50 in free printing each week, including color prints.

Faxing and copying are also available. Wi-Fi is available 24/7 in the library parking lot.

Signing up for a library card is easy — online or in person. A temporary card is available at and gives you immediate access to online resources for two months. Then, stop by the library with your picture ID to convert it to a regular card, valid for three years.

If your ID doesn’t list a local address, no problem; limited service cards are available for no charge and allow full access to online resources and check out of up to two items at a time. Full service cards offer unlimited checkout of most items.

There are more than 14,000 people currently registered for a library card at the Sequim Branch Library. If you’re not one of them yet, now is a great time to sign up and start accessing so many great resources available to all community members!

More info

The Sequim Library, 630 N. Sequim Ave., is open 10 a.m.- 7 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. on Fridays and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturdays.

Get in touch with your friendly library staff by calling 360-683-1161 or email to

The library is always open at

Emily Sly is Sequim Library manager.